IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi announced Friday that he has decided to appoint Maj.-Gen. Benny Ganz, who is currently Israel’s defense attaché in Washington DC, as his deputy. Ganz will replace Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel.

Ashkenazi also decided to leave Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin in his position as Head of Military Intelligence, and not to name a replacement for him in the current round of IDF appointments. The Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, has approved the decisions.

Maj.-Gen Gadi Eisencott will remain in his position as Head of Northern Command. The Head of Southern Command, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, will have the choice of remaining in his position or becoming Head of Ground Forces, and is expected to choose the latter option.

Brig.-Gen. Kobi Barak will be appointed Head of Operations Regiment.

Extensive command experience
Ganz was born in 1959. His command positions included the Shaldag IAF Special Forces, the Paratrooper Regiment, a reserve division in Northern Command, the Liaison Unit to Southern Lebanon, the Judea and Samaria division, Northern Command and Ground Forces.

He has a Master’s Degree in Political Science and another Master’s Degree in Management of National Resources from National Defense University in Washington.

Ganz was a compromise candidate: Barak favored appointing Galant to the position of Deputy Chief of Staff and Ashkenazi favored Eisencott. According to defense analyst Ron Ben-Yishai in Ynet, Barak favored Galant because he was concerned that otherwise, Galant would leave the IDF. However, Ashkenazi was unwilling to receive Galant as his deputy.

Barak and Ashkenazi published a statement in which they named all three – Eisencott, Ganz and Galant, as the three leading candidates for being the next Chief of Staff.

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